In mathematics, function composition is an operation that takes two functions f and g and produces a function h such that h(x) = g(f(x)). In this operation, the function g is applied to the result of applying the function f to x. That is, the functions f : X → Y and g : Y → Z are composed to yield a function that maps x in X to g(f(x)) in Z.
Intuitively, if z is a function of y, and y is a function of x, then z is a function of x. The resulting composite function is denoted g ∘ f : X → Z, defined by (g ∘ f )(x) = g(f(x)) for all x in X.
The notation g ∘ f is read as "g circle f ", "g round f ", "g about f ", "g composed with f ", "g after f ", "g following f ", "g of f", "f then g", or "g on f ". Intuitively, composing functions is a chaining process in which the output of function f feeds the input of function g.
The composition of functions is a special case of the composition of relations, sometimes also denoted by
∘
{\displaystyle \circ }
. As a result, all properties of composition of relations are true of composition of functions, though the composition of functions has some additional properties.
Composition of functions is different from multiplication of functions, and has quite different properties; in particular, composition of functions is not commutative.
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